Why You Should Get a Skin Cancer Check Before Summer

May 20, 2024

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, an important reminder to schedule a skin cancer screening and practice good sun safety habits.

Getting a skin cancer check before summer is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, during this time, your skin is likely at its palest, making any suspicious spots more prominent and easier to detect. Additionally, having a baseline examination before summer sun exposure allows for better tracking of any changes that may occur over time.

Understanding Skin Cancer:

Skin cancer occurs due to the abnormal growth of cells, often triggered by UV exposure, which damages the DNA in skin cells and leads to abnormal growth. These abnormal cells can proliferate unchecked, potentially forming lesions and posing a danger if left untreated. Skin cancer typically originates in the skin's outer layer, known as the epidermis, which comprises different types of cells, including squamous, basal, and melanocytes.

Skin Types and Their Relationship with Skin Cancer:

While individuals with darker skin tones can still develop skin cancer, it is more prevalent among those with lighter skin. Melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, acts as a natural sunscreen, offering some protection against UV damage. However, it cannot prevent all skin cancers, particularly melanomas, which arise from melanocytes. People with numerous moles, often found in those with paler skin, are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

The Importance of Sunscreen:

Using sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF), such as SPF 50+, is vital for protecting the skin from UV damage and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen should be applied generously, especially on the face, to shield against DNA damage and premature aging caused by sun exposure.

Understanding Your Risk:

Several factors contribute to an individual's risk of developing skin cancer. Lighter skin, a history of severe sunburns, extensive sun exposure, living in high-altitude, sunny climates, and a family or personal history of skin cancer all increase the likelihood of developing the disease. Regular skin checks are essential, particularly for those with higher risk factors, to detect any abnormalities early and seek prompt treatment if necessary.


Prioritizing skin cancer checks before summer allows for early detection and intervention, significantly improving treatment outcomes. By understanding your risk factors and practicing sun safety measures, you can protect your skin and reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer. Don't wait until summer arrives—schedule your skin cancer check today to ensure a healthy and safe season ahead.